CN Rail offers track for $12 million 0
ryan paulsen firstname.lastname@example.org Paul Moreau, director of development and property at the County of Renfrew, reads a letter from CN Rail in front of a map showing the section of line being offered for sale for $12 million. For more community photos please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca
The saga of railway closures in Renfrew County continues. The Renfrew County development and property committee read a piece of correspondence from CN Rail, issuing an offer for the sale of a stretch of rail line running from near Portage-du-Fort to close to Pembroke for $12,158,000.
The letter was sent to a host of government offices at various levels, with varying deadlines to accept the offer.
The federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has until Oct. 22 to respond, while the Ministry of Transportation (Ontario) and the Ministre des Transports (Quebec) have a deadline of Nov. 21.
The townships of Whitewater Region and Laurentian Valley, the City of Pembroke, MRC Pontiac, the municipalities of Litchfield and Portage-du-Fort and the county itself have until Dec. 21 to decide on the matter.
Also on the agenda was a letter written by MRC Pontiac Warden Michael McCrank to Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, requesting “an urgent intervention on your part.”
The letter goes on to explain that “although it is imperative for the economic development of both counties (Pontiac in Quebec and Renfrew in Ontario) to maintain rail infrastructure for future generations as well as strategic development and economic recovery, it is impossible for us to proceed independently with the acquisition of these facilities for a total of $33, 869,000.”
According to Whitewater Region Reeve Don Rathwell, federal intervention is, at this point, the last hope for keeping rail traffic in the region.
“It’s a brand new ball game, now,” he told the committee, “if it comes from the federal government, [but] that’s the only way, as I see it, that it’ll resurface in terms of funding.”
Admaston-Bromley Mayor Raye-Anne Briscoe remained skeptical of the future of the rail line, particularly if it relied on intervention from the Government of Canada.
“Why would that ever happen,” she asked, “when we had total abandonment from Smiths Falls to Renfrew? I have no respect for the intelligence of the federal government.”
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